Web pages that replace photography with illustrations are becoming a popular design trend. One of the main reasons is that illustrated images typically have smaller file sizes and load faster than photography. With Google’s continued push for quick load times through its Core Web Vitals page experience measurements, more web designers and developers are looking for ways to speed up web pages.
Illustrations can also be a great way to portray a concept that may be more difficult for a photo to convey. Web pages that focus on a service or a cause and don’t have specific product images can benefit from well-crafted illustrations to convey an idea.
Finally, a custom, unique illustration that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the web can be a fantastic way to capture users’ attention and imagination. Spending the extra time and budget on a high-quality, original illustration, not just a recycled stock illustration, can benefit greatly.
Though all of this was implemented with tragic and often hilarious results, the web designers of 2022 are reviving this trend with the added benefit of nearly 30 years of collective design experience.
The recent Firewatch video game website uses bold but simple illustrations to capture the game’s feeling. As a bonus, parallax animation adds a fantastic depth effect as the user scrolls down the page.
Some companies are beginning to offer dark mode versions of their website, and we believe this website design trend will continue to grow in 2022. Dark mode, night shift and other low light user interface options provide users with a low-contrast site or app that is easier to look at in low light environments. On their website, Brazilian design studio estudio/nk uses a sticky light-to-dark switch that appears on each website page, allowing users to toggle between light and dark versions as they scroll through different pages. Our team believes the popularity of dark mode toggle switches on websites could lead to more black and white web designs in 2022.